Children's Voices Heard

Between November 2014 and March 2015, we collected the thoughts and ideas of children ages 2-12 living in the Tri-Cities. They shared about what they loved, what they wish could be different, what they wanted and what they needed. There were so many amazing responses. In this gallery are a few of the responses we received. From all the information collected, themes emerged that became the elements of the draft of the Tri-Cities Children's Charter of Rights.

Tri-Cities Children's Conference "Rights Bubbles"

At the final session on the day of Tri-Cities Kids Conference 2014, students were given the opportunity to voice what was most important to them after experiencing a day full of rights-focused activities and discussions.

Students wrote their thoughts about "What was most important to them?" on coloured plastic balls ("Rights Bubbles") and created posters about their neighbourhoods (What makes you happy about your neighbourhood? What makes you sad about your neighbourhood). Here are the themes (with some examples of what students wrote) that came from all of their voices. Click on each theme to view what was written.

"Children should be heard"

"I like my family because they are here for me"
"I love my family because they help and take care of me"
"I love that I have a supportive family"
"My home because my family lives there"

"I like where I live because I have good friends"
"I feel happy because my friends help me"
"I have great friends"

"I love my school + home because I feel happy at both places.
"I love my neighbour’s house because she plays with me"

"I don't like streets because cars can hit you"
"I don’t feel safe walking on the street or parking lot because I might get hit"
"I don’t feel safe with bullys!"
"Coquitlam overall is a safe place to live"
"It is peaceful and safe"
"I feel free and safe because I know that I have peace"

"I love where I live because the water is clean"
"There is a lot of nature"
"I like trees"
"Fresh air"
"I like living in my area because its nice, quiet, and natural"
"Great view, lush"

"I like home because it is safe"

"Swimming Pool"
"Shoot my bow and arrow"
"Lots of soccer field"
"I love my community because I can participate in many activities"

"I like being able to have education"

"I like where I live because it is quiet, my rights are respected"
"Adults that respect me"
"I am respected and when I have a problem, my family will help"

Gathering The Voices Of Children Ages 3 to 5

During the months of January to March, members of the Tri-Cities Early Childhood Development Committee developed and distributed a Child's Rights Kit to a variety of Tri-Cities programs to gather the voices of children ages 3-5 on what they need to grow up happy and healthy. Included in the kit is the book Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.

The voices of the younger children were combined with what was gathered at November's Tri-Cities Kids Conference to create the initial draft of a Tri-Cities Children's Charter of Rights.